I've hit a depressing mothering milestone.
I am no longer cool.
Not that I was ever really cool in the first place because, after all, I have admitted publicly that I listen to a Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits CD (yes, I still own CDs) in my car.
But recently, I completely lost the tiny semblance of "cool" I thought I had as a mom when I bet my 11-year-old daughter that pop star Adam Levine was the lead singer of Maroon 6.
"Uh, Mom, it's Maroon 5," said my daughter.
"It's 6," I said adamantly. "If the name is Maroon 5, I will buy you a moose-sized hot chocolate with whipped cream at Java Moose."
Java Moose, here we come.
A quick Google search proved my daughter correct, which sent her into fits of laughter and gleeful dancing around the kitchen.
My mind whirled back to Christmas 1983 when my mother instructed me to write down the names of the singers and their albums that I wanted as gifts.
I remember thinking, "How does she not know that Michael Jackson's album is Thriller? How does she not know Lionel Ritchie's is Can't Slow Down? Does she live in a cave?"
Apparently, I have now moved into that cave too. This is the first year I haven't seen any of the movies nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. What the heck does Beck sing? I had no idea who Missy Elliot was when she arrived at the Super Bowl. I didn't know who The Killers were until this fall. I'm one step away from being like YouTube sensation Kevin Droniak's grandmother.
"How can I not know the name Maroon 5?!" I lament to my daughters. "I am sooo not cool! This is the first step of me turning into my mother!!"
My youngest daughter grabbed me by the shoulders: "Mom! Snap out of it!"
Kidding aside, the incident got me thinking about how I will soon be entering a different phase of parenting -- the teenage years. That's when I predict I will say this a lot to myself as I lay down the law to my girls about one thing or another: "I am their parent, NOT their friend."
Being "cool" won't make me a better parent, but at the same time, I don't want to completely lose touch with pop culture, fashion trends or most importantly, social media and technology.
If I want to stay connected to my daughters as they grow up, I must ensure I stay connected to the music, movies, television shows and books they are interested in too.
It's easy for busy and exhausted parents to let this slide. My early game plan: ask them lots of questions (and hope they answer); make our home a welcome one for them and their friends and take the time to get to know what their friends are interested in too.
I'm also going to have to get used to being teased about my lack of coolness from now on. A few days after winning the bet, my daughter overheard me humming a tune.
"So, Mom, is that a song by Maroon 5......or Maroon 6?" she said, giggling.
L'il Girl Talk
"I can't say something funny on command. That's not how it works," says The Oldest, age 11.